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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
11 August , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Tirawi: “Israel does not have an agenda for peace”
12 Aug 2009 - Senior Fateh leader, former leader of the Security forces in the West Bank, Tawfik Tirawi, stated that the Israeli government is ongoing with the expansion and construction of settlements, and does not have any real agenda for peace with the Palestinians. 

Israeli soldier imprisoned for stealing a credit card during Gaza offensive
12 Aug 2009 - The Israeli Radio reported Tuesday that an Israeli military court sentenced an Israeli soldier to seven and a half months imprisonment after he was convicted of stealing a credit card from a Palestinian home during the offensive against the Gaza Strip. 

Israel: "Hamas rebuilding its power, dozens of fighters entered Gaza to join the movement"
12 Aug 2009 - Israel claims that the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip is acting on rebuilding it military power, and that it is attempting to smuggle anti-aircraft, anti-tanks and other missile into the Gaza Strip. Israel also claims that dozens of fighters, who fought the US forces in Iraq, managed to enter Gaza.  

Israel releases a detainee after 25 years imprisonment
12 Aug 2009 - The Israeli Prison Authorities release on Tuesday evening a Palestinian detainee after 25 years imprisonment, the Palestinian Prisones Society reported. 

Labor Minister calls for releasing Barghouthi
12 Aug 2009 - Avishay Braverman, Minister of Minority Affairs in Israel, member of the Labor Party, called on the Israeli government to release the detained Fateh strongman, Marwan Barghouthi, who garnered a top post in the Fateh general elections, held Tuesday in Bethlehem. 

Fatah elects new central committee, President Abbas to lead the party
11 Aug 2009 - The Fatah movement sixth general assembly elected on Tuesday the new central committee of the party and announced that the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was reelected to lead Fatah. 

Three new cases of H1N1 reported in the West Bank
11 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian Minister of health reported on Tuesday that three more cases of H1N1, better known as swine flu, in the West Bank.

Ha'aretz Defense page

Disgraced IDF officer hires PR firm to handle media frenzy
11 Aug 2009 - Brig. Gen. Fares resigned from IDF after it came to light that he had lied to GOC Northern Command Eizenkot. 

Israel tells nationals: Leave Sinai immediately
11 Aug 2009 - Counterterrorism unit warning of planned attacks during the upcoming Jewish holiday period. 

IDF chief: Top officer right to quit after lie about car accident
11 Aug 2009 - Brigadier General Fares gave 'unreliable' account of minor traffic accident involving official car, said the army. 

UN toasts Ahmadinejad win, as 69 said killed in Iran protests
11 Aug 2009 - Regime says only 30 killed; Mousavi aide gives list of those said killed to Iranian parliament. 

Report: Egypt and Hamas to hold Shalit talks in days
11 Aug 2009 - According to Lebanese daily, Egyptian officials heading to Damascus this week for fresh talks on swap deal. 

Ma'an News

Observers call Fatah conference a successful coup against old guard 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Analysts, observers, and former Palestinian ministers labeled the Sixth Fatah Congress a success even before the final ballot count was complete on Tuesday night. “The Fatah movement was re-born, it became stronger and more united, making the movement capable of dealing with all sorts of challenges both internally and externally,” one analyst said shortly before Fatah officials announced that results from the Revolutionary Council elections, which will determine 80 out of 120 spots on the second highest ruling body of the party, would not be announced until Wednesday. Preliminary results from the Central Council elections - the party’s highest body - were announced early Tuesday, but a one-vote margin between those in the 18th, 19th, and 20th places (there are 18 elected seats on the council) prompted a recount. 

Settler familes anounce intention to take over Ramallah-area land 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an - Twenty Israeli settler families will “go to the field” after the failure of a legal campaign to evict Palestinian families from 22 dunums of land in the Semiramis neighborhood of Ramallah. The settlers, according to the Israeli paper Israel Hayoum (Israel Today) in its Monday edition, contacted several organizations claiming to have the deeds to the land on which several Palestinian homes are built, but none would take up the case. The settler families, represented by lawyer Arieh King have claimed they purchased the lands in 1972 and have produced documents allegedly proving their ownership. Several previous cases saw the use of forged deeds and ownership documents. According to the news article, the failure of Israeli organizations to take up the case will lead to a change in tactics by the settler families, who will now allegedly go to the neighborhood themselves and take over the land. The village, once a suburb of Ramallah, was annexed to Israel when the state redrew the municipal boundaries in 1967. 

Hamas: PA tortured prisoner to death 
8/11/2009 - UPDATED - Nablus – Ma'an – A Hamas-affiliated detainee died while in the custody of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces at Juneid prison in Nablus, a security official told Ma'an on Monday afternoon. The PA's security services spokesman, Adnan Demeiri, identified the victim as 27-year-old Fadi Hamadneh from Asira Ash-Shamaliyya village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Hamas said his death, which occured Sunday or Monday, was the result of torture. Hamadneh is the fourth Hamas member to die in a PA prison since 2007, when the Islamic movement took full control of the Gaza Strip, triggering a Fatah power grab in the West Bank. According to the PA's version of events, Hamadneh was found dead after he hung himself with a bed sheet tied around his neck. Dmeiri said officers on the scene took the man's brother-in-law Shakir Dababsa to the scene of the alleged suicide to prove that the man's death was not the result of foul play. 

Israel transfers PFLP leader to prison in Negev desert 
8/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Sa’adat has been transferred from Israel’s Ashkelon prison, on the coast north of Gaza to Ramon prison, inside the Nafha prison complex, also in southern Israel, according to a lawyer. Attorney Buthayna Duqmaq, the head of the Mandela Institute for Palestinian prisoners, said that the transfer means that Sa’adat will likely be remanded to solitary confinement again. Hundreds of Palestinian so-called “security detainees” are held at Ramon. Palestinians consider the inmates political prisoners. The leftist leader went on a nine-day hunger strike in June in protest against his solitary confinement. The Israel army seized Sa'adat in a raid on a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho in 2006, where he had been held since 2001 over the assassination of Israel's right-wing tourism minister, Rehavam Ze'evi. 

UNRWA play for Israeli public shut down by Acre municipality 
8/10/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - UNRWA’s Hebrew language outreach program titled Building Understanding: Epitaph of a Dead Warehouse, was cancelled by Acre festival authorities in the last days before the UN organization was to present photos and films of their work in Palestine. The agency had prepared a multimedia theatrical performance that documented the “dramatic last day of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s warehouse in Gaza which was destroyed during the fighting in Gaza on 15th of January 2009,” a program for the evening read. “[The production] has already been shown in Tel Aviv and Sderot where it was well received,” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement. “We presented the piece to the Acre Festival authorities a couple of months ago and they gave an immediate green light and it is surprising that the play should be cancelled by the Festival authorities just hours before our first performance here. 

Tulkarem man released from jail after serving 25 years 
8/11/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – Following the end of his 25-year prison sentence, Israel released 50-year-old Muhammad Mansour Hamdan from Israeli custody on Tuesday. First detained in 1979, Hamdan was released after three years in Israeli prison, then arrested again in 1985 and sentenced to 25 years. During that time the became a member of the Hamas party. His years in detention also saw his brother killed by Israeli forces during the second Intifadah, and his father then mother pass away in 1994 and 2001. He was not permitted to attend either funeral. Hamdan is from the West bank town of Bal’a north of Tulkarem. 

Israel opens two Gaza crossings 
8/11/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel decided to open the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz border crossings with the besieged Gaza Strip to allow delivery of food and fuel into the besieged territory, keeping the Karni closed. Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian official charged with liaising with Israeli authorities, said Israel planned to allow 75 to 85 trucks to deliver goods at Kerem Shalom. Cooking gas and industrial grade diesel for Gaza’s sole power plant will be allowed through the Nahal Oz terminal, he said. The Karni crossing will be closed, he added. [end] 

Israeli forces seize eight Palestinians 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized eight “wanted” Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank, an Israeli newspaper reported on Tuesday morning. The website of Yedioth Ahronoth said detainees were “transferred for questioning. ” The locations of the raids were not reported. [end] 

Sources: Sa’adat move related to potential prisoner deal 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel has transferred Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Sa’adat from one prison to another in preparation for a possible prisoner exchange, Israeli sources told Ma’an. The sources said that Sa’adat was moved to Nafha prison, on the outskirts of the town of Mizpe Ramon, in the Negev Desert, from his previous location at a prison in Ashkelon, on the coast north of Gaza. Israeli news service Ynet quoted Israel's prison service as saying Sa'adat was moved for "internal IPS [Israeli Prison Service]considerations. " This information emerges after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday evening. According to Israeli news reports, the two likely discussed a possible prisoner swap involving the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held in Gaza since 2006. 

Israeli minister suggests releasing Barghouthi from prison 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Israel’s Minister of Minority Affairs Avishay Braverman suggested the country release newly elected Fatah Central Council Member Marwan Barghouthi from Israeli prison, where he has been since he was detained in 2002. Barghouthi received the third highest number of votes in the Sixth Fatah Congress' Central Committee elections, held in Bethlehem Monday, with votes being called in from the Gaza Strip until early Tuesday morning. According to the Israeli daily paper Haaretz on Tuesday, Braverman described Barghouthi as a possible partner for peace. "We must weigh his release with the aim of creating a moderate and strong political leadership among the Palestinians," the paper quoted Braverman as saying. Barghouthi, serving five life sentences in Israel for alleged involvement in attacks against the state, was an integral figure in the unity moment in 2006-7 when Hamas was elected. 

Canadian opposition MPs tour Palestine ahead of rumored fall election 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - Canadian parliamentarians from the country’s three opposition parties visited the West Bank village of Bil’in Monday, during a week-long trip to the Jordan and Palestine. Members of Parliament from the Liberal, Bloc Quebecois, and New Democratic Party, all also members of the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Association, will tour the area alongside CODEPINK activists and a Canadian film maker. Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewsky, MP Etobicoke Centre, will not accompany the group on a trip into the Gaza Strip, where the delegation was invited by the UN Relief and Works Agency and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. The notable absence of a member from the leading Conservative party is in keeping with current Canadian policies on the region. During the Israeli war on Gaza the Canadian government was the first to announce that Israel had the right to defend itself, was the 

This Week In Lieberman: Denouncing Fatah, burying peace 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Exactly one week after announcing he'd resign if indicted on the cornucopia of charges Israel's attorney general is said to be preparing, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned himself to more conflict with his close neighbors in the West Bank. " The uncompromising, extremist positions of the Palestinians. . . create an unbridgeable gap between us," the Israeli foreign minister declared while meeting with a group of lawmakers from US President Barack Obama's Democratic Party on Monday. In fact, improving Palestinian security forces and their economy is simply the most anyone can hope for at this point, Lieberman went on to tell the Democrats in Jerusalem. "This is the maximum we can reach in the coming years. " "Given this set of circumstances, Israeli policy needs to be based on reality rather than delusions," added the ultranationalist settler, surrounded 

Refugees in Lebanon celebrate Fatah election results 
8/11/2009 - Lebanon – Ma’an – Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon celebrated the completion of Fatah’s Central Committee elections and their representative Sultan Abu Al-Enein’s victory in securing a seat on the governing body. Cars rallied across Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, especially in the south of the country where the Fatah secretary-general lives. Celebrators called Abu Al-Enein’s success a victory for resistance and a confirmation of the Palestinian right to return for millions of refugees. Refugees waved Palestinian flags and held up posters of late Palestinian President and one of Fatah’s founders Yasser Arafat, and current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Fireworks were launched in the sky, and candies distributed to in a celebration of the new party leadership. “We have been waiting long for what happened to Fatah today,” one camp resident said, “Although it came late, it was finally achieved and it marks an important beginning. 

One-vote margin delays final Fatah vote results; prelims released 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an Exclusive – Fatah officials are re-counting the last box of votes from the party’s election for the Central Committee after preliminary results showed a razor-thin margin for some of the apparent winners. According to the election system, the top 18 candidates would win a place on the Central Committee. An initial count however showed a one-vote difference between Muhammad Shtayeh in 18th place, At-Tayyib Abdul Rahim in 19th place, and Ahmad Quriea in 20th. Fatah officials overseeing the vote count released the following unofficial figures to Ma’an, with official results expected later in the day. After the initial count: the following candidates appeared headed for victory: 1 – Muhammad (Abu Maher) Ghneim: 1,338 / 2 - Mahmoud Al-Aloul: 1,112 / 3 - Marwan Barghouti: 1,063 / 4 - Nasser Al-Kidwa: 964 / 5 - Salim Za’noun: 920 / 6 - Jibril Rajoub: 908 / 7 - Tawfiq Tirawi: 

No women elected for Fatah Central Committee 
8/11/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Six women stood as candidates on the 89-name list of candidates for the Fatah Central Committee but none were elected to the party’s governing body, sparking the ire of many who hoped women would be better represented. The results may not be so surprising, however, given that only 241 of the 2,241 voting members at the conference in Bethlehem were women: 10. 7%. The last Central Committee for the party had one woman, widow of late PLO leader Khalil Al-Wazir (aka Abu Jihad), Intisar, but she was not re-elected. Another candidate, Najat Abu Bakr, Palestinian lawmaker from the northern West Bank congratulated the winners but said the “absence of women leaders in any movement is a weakness. ”The other candidates included: Sahar Al-Qawasmi, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council - Rabiha Thiab, Minister of Women’s Affairs - Maryam Al-Atrash, a leader in the General 

Fayyad promises to solve water crisis in Hebron 'in two weeks' 
8/11/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad promised to solve water shortage crisis in Hebron following an appeal by the city’s mayor on Tuesday. “Every day residents and civil society organizations come to the municipal council offices asking to send appeal to president Abbas to solve the suffocating water shortage, and to complain about unachieved [governmental] promises they have been receiving since the beginning of the summer season,” Hebron Mayor Khalid Al-Aisleini told Fayyad over the phone. According to reports, Hebron residents get water from the municipal service once every 25 days on a rolling basis. Often residents say there isn’t even water to buy and have pumped into reserve tanks. Fayyad said he gave directives to the water authority to immediately reconsider water distribution schedules in the southern West Bank. He said he promised the water crisis in Hebron would be solved within two weeks. 

Hamas: New Fatah leadership must not repeat 'dangerous mistakes' 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Hamas urged Fatah’s newly elected leadership on Tuesday to avoid “the dangerous slips and mistakes” of their predecessors, and to take step towards restoring national unity. “This leadership will be tested about the degree they adhere with Palestinian people’s rights, steadfastness, resistance, unity, and commitment to end inter-Palestinian rivalry,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. He added, “We want strong and active Palestinian factions that devotes their efforts to the Palestinian people and homeland, avoiding sectarianism and favoritism in order to form a strong home front capable of facing any challenge. ”His ambiguous response was in reference to the results of Fatah’s election for its high-ranking Central Committee, in which some of the movement’s old guard was ousted. The comments also come one day after the death of a Hamas member in a prison run by the Fatah-backed Palestinian Authority (PA). 

Apparent upsets in Fatah leadership election 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – With 90% of the votes counted, Fatah’s old guard appears to have suffered major upsets in an election for the movement’s highest decision-making body, the Central Committee. By far the most significant upset is the ousting of Ahmad Quriea, the head of the Palestinian negotiating team and Fatah’s Organization and Mobilization department. A key member of the Fatah establishment in the West Bank, Quriea organized the Fatah conference himself, and according to many sources added extra delegates in an attempt to increase his chances of reelection. Among those likely to win seats for the first time on the committee is jailed resistance leader Marwan Al-Barghouthi, a favorite of the grassroots. Fatah’s relatively militant leader in Lebanon, Sultan Abul Aynein, also appears to have picked up a seat. But the “new blood” on the Central Committee does not all come from the younger generation. 

Vote counting underway in Fatah leadership election 
8/11/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma'an – Vote counting began on Monday night in two key leadership elections at Fatah’s party congress in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The conference’s executive director, Munir Salameh, said that by 12:30pm, 39% of the votes were counted in the race for the Central Committee, the highest decision-making body. He said he expected counting to continue until 3:00am. Vote counting in the race for the Revolutionary Council, the second-highest body, will take place on Tuesday, Salameh said. President Mahmoud Abbas and a number of Fatah officials are overseeing the vote count in the Terra Sancta school hall in Bethlehem. Vote counting was delayed in order to allow the 300 Fatah delegates trapped in Gaza to cast votes over the phone for a few more hours on Monday evening. Most of the 2,000 other delegates cast paper ballots on Sunday at the conference hall in Bethlehem. 

PFLP: Investigate Hamas member’s death in PA prison 
8/11/2009 - UPDATED - Hamadneh's brother Hani said he doubted the PA's report, insisting that his brother was deeply religious and would have never committed suicide. - Gaza – Ma’an – The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called for an independent investigation into the death of a Hamas member in a Palestinian Authority (PA) prison on Monday. The PFLP in a statement called for national and Islamic factions to back the investigation. It also called for an end to politically-motivated arrests and respect for human rights. The statement was in reference to the death of 27-year-old Fadi Hamadneh from the village of Asira Ash-Shamaliyya, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Hamas said his death was the result of torture. According to the PA's security services spokesman, Adnan Demeiri, Hamadneh was found dead after he hung himself with a bed sheet tied around his neck. 

Three new H1N1 cases diagnosed in West Bank 
8/11/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Three new cases of swine flu were diagnosed in the West Bank on Tuesday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. Director of Health Care in the Ministry of Health Dr Said Ramlawi said two of the new cases were from the Ramallah-area and were diagnosed after they returned from performing the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, and the third - from Jenin - was infected by unknown carriers. The total number of diagnosed cases in the West Bank has now reached 95, with one death of a 30-year-old man who also contracted the virus in Saudi Arabia, reported from Ramallah last week. [end] 

The National

Thousands welcome deported cleric home
11 Aug 2009 - Preacher who was expelled by the US became a national hero' in Yemen while spending six years in jail for telling an agent he could funnel money to Hamas. 

Fatah's voting deadline extended
10 Aug 2009 - Organisers ensure delegates from Gaza, who were banned by Hamas from attending the conference, have their ballots included.

Fatah concludes elections
10 Aug 2009 - Members of Fatah finish voting in an election marking the movement's first convention in 20 years, in a bid to reinvigorate the leadership by bringing in new faces.

Gaza sees brief flare-up of violence
10 Aug 2009 - Israeli planes bomb a smuggling tunnel along the Gaza-Egypt border this morning in response to Palestinian rocket and mortar fire.


Fatah elects new leadership
11 Aug 2009 - "Huge changes" to the Palestinian party's executive body after Bethlehem conference. 

Kuwait 'foils al-Qaeda terror plot'
11 Aug 2009 - Six Kuwaitis arrested over plan to use fertiliser to attack US base.

Palestine News Network

Fateh Central Committee election results are in and conference is closing, Gaza controversy remains
10 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN – The Fateh Sixth Conference is wrapping up today after being extended from Sunday due to the vast number of issues needing attention, and the situation for members in the Gaza Strip due to the ongoing crisis with the Hamas party. The elections for both the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council are in. Fateh’s armed resistance wing, the Al...

Gaza appeals to international community to pressure Israelis to lift ban on paper, kid's clothes
10 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – With all basic supplies banned by the Israeli government to the Gaza Strip, paper is on the list. And with the imminent onset of the new academic year, this remains a crucial issue. And the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is on the near horizon, coming earlier each year, the additional personal and financial obligations are in th the...

History of Sheikh Jarrah: Israeli minister accompanies gang of criminals to break into homes 
10 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / Angela Godfrey-Goldstein - Israeli Tourist Minister Benny Elon was with the criminal gang that broke into homes and assaulted children. [It happened in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on 28 April 2003 and is ongoing. The following was written on Sunday 4 May 2003]They do it in the middle of the night. On dark nights. Quietly, stealthily. In large groups. Well...

Maher Hannoun: Early on Sunday August 2nd, more than 200 armed police smashed our windows
10 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN - Last night a candlelight vigil was held in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah. The action has passed, but not the issue. For that, PNN reprints the original call. Please join us in a solidarity vigil with the evicted families, together with Palestinian and Israeli organisations and representatives of the international community on Monday, August 10th at 8.00 p.m., in Sheikh...

What is going on East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood? One case illuminated
10 Aug 2009 - On July 26th a group of settlers led by Arieh King took over a Palestinian house in Sheikh Jarrah to which they were given custody of in a very controversial decision of the Israeli court. While trying to prevent the settlers from taking over the house and demolishing it, 11 activists (three Palestinians, seven internationals and one Israeli) where arrested.At about 11:30,...

Evictions and settlement plans in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah have been in motion for decades
10 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN - East Jerusalem is being destroyed; even the American administration knows this. The following is a case history provided by the Israeli Center against House Demolition. The Case of Shimon HaTzadikIR AMIM - June 25, 2009SummaryOn May 17, two Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem received court orders to vacate their homes by July 19, 2009....

Moible clinic to serve eastern West Bank town of Jericho with focus on women and children
10 Aug 2009 - Jericho / PNN - Jericho is dry and dusty. It is home to a Guinness Book of World Records winning tram and is considered to be the fruit basket of Palestine after the destruction of agricultural lands in the northern Gaza Strip. This eastern West Bank governorate is also an area where, unknowingly, one can be standing atop a home. Some of the...


OPT: Rubble removal uncovers potential health hazards
GAZA Tuesday, August 11, 2009 (IRIN) - Nearly seven months after Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has begun removing some 600,000MT of rubble containing asbestos and other hazardous material.

MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia has highest incidence of flu 
DUBAI Monday, August 10, 2009 (IRIN) - Saudi Arabia has the highest number of laboratory confirmed pandemic H1N1 cases in the Eastern Mediterranean Region – 595 – with four out of the eight deaths so far, according to an 8 August World Health Organization (WHO) report.

OPT-EGYPT: Rafah sees record crossings
GAZA CITY Monday, August 10, 2009 (IRIN) - The Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border opened for five days this month, the longest continued period since Hamas seized power in the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: Saudi Arabia May Not Follow Obama’s Plan 
WASHINGTON, Aug 11 (IPS) - Pro-Israeli lobbyists here won the support of 77 senators (out of 100) for a letter sent to President Barack Obama that urged him to "press Arab leaders" to consider making dramatic, upfront peace overtures to Israel.

RIGHTS-SAUDI ARABIA: Indefinite Detention in the Name of Counterterrorism 
WASHINGTON, Aug 11 (IPS) - Human rights groups have accused Saudi Arabia of unlawfully detaining thousands of people without trial or conviction under its counterterrorism programme since 2003.

MIDEAST: Tensions Rise on Israel's North 
RAMALLAH, Aug 11 (IPS) - The war of words between Israel and the Lebanese resistance movement Hizbullah has heated up in the last week, raising fears that another war between Lebanon and Israel is imminent.

MIDEAST: There Just may Have to be a Partner 
JERUSALEM, Aug 10 (IPS) - "We have no partner," has been the mantra of successive Israeli governments, both right-wing and centre, ever since the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifadah in September 2000 in wake of the failed Camp David summit. That was the last time Palestinians and Israelis saw each...

Stop The Wall

Closure does not stop al Ma’sara protest
11 Aug 2009 - Last week, soldiers closed the village of al Ma’sara the night prior to the weekly demonstration. This move did little to deter protestors, who marched to through the village in protest of the Wall and settlements the next day. [

Special forces spotted at Ni’lin demonstration
10 Aug 2009 - The Friday demonstration in Ni’lin was held this week without injury to participants, although Occupation forces employ tear gas and chemical spray to keep people away from the Wall. Special forces were again spotted at the demonstration. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(30 Jul.- 05 Aug.  2008)
During the reporting period, 7 Palestinians civilians, including one child and one woman, were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank.

International Solidarity Movement

Ni’lin demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
8/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 7 August 2009 - Palestinians, Israelis and international solidarity activists gathered in the fields of Ni'lin for the midday prayer before once again setting off to protest the illegal Apartheid Wall that continues to severe Ni'lin residents from their land. The demonstrators, numbering approximately 60, took a different route than usual across the fields but were soon metwith tear gas and chemical sewage water. The protest was quickly scattered with people running along a large section of the fence shouting and waving flags. The tear gas continued being launched by soldiers under the cover of their armoured vehicles and also by multiple canister launchers atop the same jeeps. Army action intensified when a Palestinian flag was erected and could not be retrieved by the army. They used more tear gas, sound bombs and rubber coated steal bullets to try, unsuccesfully, to push the protesters away from the wall. 

Five new house demolition orders issued in Silwan, East Jerusalem
8/11/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Alternative Information Center (AIC) - 10 August 2009 - Israeli forces issued five new house demolition orders in the al-Bustan section of Silwan in East Jerusalem on Wednesday, 5 August, injuring eight Palestinians in the process and seizing the identification card of Musa Odeh, a member of the al-Bustan Committee working to non-violently oppose the demolitions.   Authorities also deployed tear gas to prevent residents from confronting the soldiers ordering the demolitions. The orders augment the 90 demolition orders already standing in Silwan, a densely populated village located on the southeastern slopes of the Old City of Jerusalem.   The area, which is located near the biblical site of Siloam and which houses approximately 55,000 residents, was annexed by the state of Israel in 1967; since then, the Municipality of Jerusalem has nearly uniformly refused Palestinian residents building. . . 

Candle vigil in solidarity with evicted Palestinian families held in Sheikh Jarrah
8/11/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 10 August 2009 - At 8pm, around 200 Palestinians, Israelis and international solidarity activists congregated outside the evicted homes of the Hanoun family. Under the presence of the Israeli police, the demonstrators lit candles which illuminated signs and posters condemning the evictions and demanding their homes back. Peacefully, people sang and spoke whilst traffic tooted their horns in support of the families. As demonstrators began to march towards the al Gwahi home around 9pm (another home that was evicted and is currently being occupied by settlers), the police violently attacked people walking on the sidewalk, dragging kicking and beating them as they pulled them back along the street towards their vehicles. Police units dressed in all black charged through to lend a hand and eventually forced Arik Asherman of the Rabbis for Human Rights into a police van, which hastily left the scene. 

Settlers attack Susiyan Palestinian sheep herders
8/11/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 10 August 2009 - At 7:30 of this morning, a group of sheep shepherds from Susyia, a small Palestinian village in the Southern Hebron hills, came under attack by a pair of Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal colony. The shepherds, a small group of two Palestinian men and one woman had been grazing their sheep in their family land, in the hills near their homes. The two settlers, having faced no previous provocation from the group, came running suddenly down a dirt road, attempting to frighten the sheep off the land. The Palestinian shepherds began chasing after their animals and shouting at the settlers to end their harassment, but the pair continued their attack, hitting the sheep with stones and sticks they had been carrying with them. The Palestinian woman in the group had a stack of firesticks she had been collecting thrown of her hands and herself pushed away from her retreating animals. 

PCHR condemns harassment of Palestinian civilians at military checkpoints
8/11/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the harassment and cruel and degrading treatment inflicted upon Palestinian civilians by Israeli troops positioned at military checkpoint throughout the West Bank. PCHR field workers documents three cases of harassment against Palestinian civilians in the first three days of the week. At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 08 August 2009, Israeli soldiers harassed Tha'er Bader Jaradat, 20, from Sa'ir village northwest Hebron. They attacked him near the Annexation Wall in al-Ram town, north of Jerusalem. He sustained fractures to the legs. According to investigations conducted by PCHR and the victim's testimony, at approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 08 August 2009, Israeli soldiers forced him to jump from a height of 4. 5 meters. . . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

German Jews back campaign to reprint 'Mein Kampf' 
11 Aug 2009 - German academics who have been engaged for years in a campaign calling ...

Avi Issacharoff / Fatah showed Palestinians democracy is more than just a slogan 
11 Aug 2009 - A week after the Sixth Fatah Convention opened, its chairman Mahmoud Abbas could finally sit back, relax and smile. The rais is beginning to shine through as the undisputed winner. Not only did he manage to convene the conference, an achievement that eluded his legendary predecessor Yasser Arafat, the huge event went through almost without incident (barring a brief shootout between the Presidential Guard and their general intelligence colleagues, in a fight over a parking spot). Abbas was unanimously elected to chair the movement, and the new leadership can boast some more popular, slightly younger faces. Even if the "youngsters" are already past 50, they represent a cohort believed to be less corrupt and of impeccable patriotic record. Many were jailed in Israel (Jibril Rajoub, Marwan Barghouti, Mohammad Dahlan, Hussein al-Sheikh) or were Fatah members in Lebanon (Mahmoud al-Aloul, Muhammad al-Madani, Jamal Muheisen and others). ... 

Israel launches new hunt for IDF soldier missing 12 years 
11 Aug 2009 - Israel has begun a quiet diplomatic campaign to learn the whereabouts of a soldier who went missing from the Golan Heights 12 years ago. The process began when Japan's Middle East envoy delivered a message to Syria for Israel. ... 

Israeli travelers say attack by Arabs in Greek isles
10 Aug 2009 - The Foreign Ministry is checking a group of young Israeli travelers' claims that they were attacked by more than a dozen Arabs while on a cruise in the Greek isles. ...

Report: Egypt and Hamas to hold Shalit talks in days
10 Aug 2009 - Senior Egyptian security officials will visit Damascus this week for talks with Hamas leaders on a prisoner exchange that could see the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday. ... 

The Guardian

The two-state diversion | Robert Malley and Hussein Agah
11 Aug 2009 - That leaders of Israel and Hamas have signed up to the approach is the surest sign it is void of meaning The two-state solution has welcomed two converts. In recent weeks, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime...

Fatah elects younger leadership group
11 Aug 2009 - Fourteen of 18 seats on Palestinian group's central committee go to new members, including one jailed in Israel Fatah, the Palestinian group led by Mahmoud Abbas, today elected a group of younger leaders, as the movement...

Israel's anti-immigration immigrants | Seth Freedman
11 Aug 2009 - Three out of four Israeli citizens of Russian extraction support the transfer of Arabs out of Israel – and sadly they are not alone Well over a million of Israel's population come from the former Soviet...

Avigdor Lieberman calls for Israeli diplomat to quit over US ties warning
10 Aug 2009 - Israeli foreign minister rebukes envoy after he warns of deteriorating relations with US over West Bank settlements Israel's outspoken foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said today that a diplomat who warned of deteriorating relations with the US...

Ha'aretz National page

Negev residents complain police anti-terror unit troops party too loud 
11 Aug 2009 - Residents of a moshav in the center of the country, have gotten used to many things over the years, living as they do next door to the headquarters of the Police Special Anti-Terror Unit (also known by their Hebrew acronym, Yamam). They've had armed men sneaking through their fields and combat units holding training sessions in their streets. But this week they decided to speak out against a much more ordinary nuisance - incessant noise produced by parties and celebrations held on the compound. ... 

Pioneering Israeli environmentalist, former MK Yosef Tamir, dies at 94 
11 Aug 2009 - Former MK Yosef Tamir, one of Israel's first environmental activists, died Tuesday at the age of 94. Tamir was a founder of the Liberal Party and of Likud, but is remembered mainly for supporting ecological issues as early as the 1960s, long before the cause was popular. ... 

Israel aids its needy Jewish students more than Arab counterparts 
11 Aug 2009 - The Education Ministry's budget for special assistance to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds severely discriminates against Arabs, a new study shows. The average per-student allocation in Arab junior high schools amounts to only 20 percent of the average in Jewish junior highs. ... 

Relief Web

General Assembly reschedules 60th anniversary commemoration of Palestine refugee agency, adds to agenda requests from tribunals for former Yugoslavia, Rwanda
11 Aug 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

Support for the Palestinian Media Sector
11 Aug 2009 - Source: European Union

Gaza-Egypt: Rafah sees record crossings
11 Aug 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

YNet News

Fatah official: We won't dance to Lieberman's tune 
11 Aug 2009 - New Fatah Central Committee member Tirawi says Israeli FM's settlement plans 'exacerbate oppression, occupation,' adding Israel must realize Palestinians 'adamant' about gaining independence 

Fatah women fume over election results
11 Aug 2009 - 'Primitive men betrayed us; our society is backward,' activists say after no women elected to Fatah's Central Committee 

Report: Top Egyptian officials to visit Syria regarding Shalit deal 
11 Aug 2009 - Lebanon's al-Akhbar newspaper says Cairo means to increase pressure on Palestinian groups in order to finalize prisoner exchange deal meant to bring Hamas captive home 

Sons of Yemeni Jew killed by Muslim head to Israel 
11 Aug 2009 - Al-Qedeimi Jewish community head says Moshe Nahari's two sons are en route to Israel following father's murder 

Daily Star

Iran opposition says at least 69 dead in 2 months of election unrest
11 Aug 2009 - Iran’s opposition said Tuesday at least 69 people have died in two months of post-election unrest based on accounts from the victims’ families, more than double the official toll released by Parliament. A top aide to Mirhossein Mousavi, the opposition leader who claims he was the true winner of the June 12 presidential vote, handed the list over to Parliament.

Michel Murr to schedule trip to Syria ‘at the right time’
11 Aug 2009 - A US missile slammed into a suspected Taliban camp in a lawless Pakistani tribal region on Tuesday, intelligence officials and Taliban commanders said, killing somewhere between six and 14 people, which comes a week after a similar strike reportedly took out the group’s leader. Washington and Islamabad have said they are almost certain that last Wednesday’s drone strike killed Pakistan’s most wanted man.

‘Next war with Israel will be bloodier’
11 Aug 2009 - A US missile slammed into a suspected Taliban camp in a lawless Pakistani tribal region on Tuesday, intelligence officials and Taliban commanders said, killing somewhere between six and 14 people, which comes a week after a similar strike reportedly took out the group’s leader. Washington and Islamabad have said they are almost certain that last Wednesday’s drone strike killed Pakistan’s most wanted man.

Israeli official in Egypt for talks on Shalit release
11 Aug 2009 - A US missile slammed into a suspected Taliban camp in a lawless Pakistani tribal region on Tuesday, intelligence officials and Taliban commanders said, killing somewhere between six and 14 people, which comes a week after a similar strike reportedly took out the group’s leader. Washington and Islamabad have said they are almost certain that last Wednesday’s drone strike killed Pakistan’s most wanted man.

Tunisian terror suspect released on bail after extradition from Italy
11 Aug 2009 - A US missile slammed into a suspected Taliban camp in a lawless Pakistani tribal region on Tuesday, intelligence officials and Taliban commanders said, killing somewhere between six and 14 people, which comes a week after a similar strike reportedly took out the group’s leader. Washington and Islamabad have said they are almost certain that last Wednesday’s drone strike killed Pakistan’s most wanted man.

Clinton urges protection for civilians from eastern Congo violence
11 Aug 2009 - A US missile slammed into a suspected Taliban camp in a lawless Pakistani tribal region on Tuesday, intelligence officials and Taliban commanders said, killing somewhere between six and 14 people, which comes a week after a similar strike reportedly took out the group’s leader. Washington and Islamabad have said they are almost certain that last Wednesday’s drone strike killed Pakistan’s most wanted man.

Shatah warns cabinet formation delay will shake confidence
11 Aug 2009 - Finance Minister Mohammad Shatah warned on Monday that investor confidence in Lebanon would be badly shaken if the country remains without a government for too long. “Indeed there are lot of matters that need to be addressed as soon as possible and most notably the electricity sector,” he said. He added that there are several draft laws and the 2009 draft budget which have not yet be endorsed by Parliament.

Two opposing trends, the same failure
11 Aug 2009 - Two opposing trends were visible in Israel and Palestine on Monday, and one of them must disappear. The Fatah congress in Bethlehem reaffirmed the strategic decision among a majority of Palestinians to seek a negotiated peace with Israel, while a string of senior Israeli officials said that they would continue expanding settlements in East Jerusalem and would not repeat the “mistake” of withdrawing from Gaza.

Palestinian Information Center

No Results
11 Aug 2009 - The Dapp ran, but did not find any matching results in the given URL.

Los Angeles Times

Ethiopian Israeli filmmaker pulls no punches 
10 Aug 2009 - Shmuel Beru, who arrived in Israel in 1984 in the first wave of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants, tells his people's story in the award-winning 'Zrubavel.' But not that many white Israelis are listening. Growing up, they called him the "chocolate boy" and worse. 

Iran's president purges Intelligence Ministry 
10 Aug 2009 - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad replaces longtime officials with loyalists. The son of a former intelligence chief accuses the president of retaliation against those who have not supported his reelection. Iran's president has conducted a purge of the nation's Intelligence Ministry, sweeping aside ranking officials with decades of experience in favor of loyalists, said a lawmaker, several news websites and a former intelligence chief's son. 

Philippine city lives in constant terror 
9 Aug 2009 - Zamboanga City is on the front lines of the Philippines' fight against terrorists, located in the troubled south where Muslim militants have been battling troops and hitting civilian targets. Restaurant owner Lyra Quitay is blind in one eye. Her arms, chest and legs bear painful black scars and her right hand is so gnarled that it resembles a claw when she signs her name. 

New York Times

Israel Wary of Calm Days Bound to End in Turmoil
11 Aug 2009 - Israel is worried that deceptive quiet could explode at any moment with a spark from Hezbollah, Hamas or Iran. 

Fatah Party Election Brings in a New Generation
11 Aug 2009 - New leaders who are considered pragmatic are expected to strengthen Fatah in its talks with Israel and Hamas. 

Memo From Bethlehem: Fatah Turns to Nation Building, Though It Doesn’t Discard the Rifle
10 Aug 2009 - The mainstream Palestinian nationalist party’s balancing act at a weeklong gathering provided unity but drew harsh criticism from Israel. 


Hundreds Protest Sheikh Jarrah Evictions 
8/11/2009 - Alternative Information Center - The belongings of a Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah who were evicted from their homes by the Israeli authorities to make way for Jewish settlers. The belongings of a Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah who were evicted from their homes by the Israeli authorities to make way for Jewish settlers. Several hundred international, Palestinian, and Israeli activists gathered at 8 pm on 10 August to peacefully protest the eviction of the Hanoun and Ghawi families from their homes in the contested East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah early August 2nd. The demonstration began around the Hanoun residence, with participants holding candles and signs bearing messages including “Why did you steal our homes? ”, “Say No to Ethnic Cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah”, and quotes from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the evictions a week prior. 

VIDEO - Jerusalem Diaries Episode 25: Empowered Women of Hebron 
8/11/2009 - Alternative Information Center - Women in Hebron and surrounding villages have started a business for empowerment and self-dependence. [end] 

Continuing Settler Violence in Sheikh Jarrah 
8/10/2009 - Alternative Information Center - Ghawi family possessions being put on a moving truck by the Israeli authorities, which were then taken several kilometers away and dumped, 2 August 2009. Residents of embattled East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah were subjected again to violent attacks by religious settlers on Saturday, 9 August, injuring dozens and culminating in the arrest of two Palestinians. According to Ma’an News, the violence began when “bottles hit children attending a local summer camp,” after which a mob of settlers threw stones and empty glass bottles at Palestinian families in the area. One man, 59-year-old Khamis al-Ghawi, was severely beaten by the attackers and arrested by Israeli forces soon thereafter for reasons unknown up to the present. As international activists attempted to defend the residents from attack, Israeli forces deployed tear gas on the crowd in an effort to cover the settlers' retreat. 

Barak Pays Visit to Muslim Quarter Synagogue Linked to Right-Wing Donor, Irving Moskowitz 
8/11/2009 - Alternative Information Center - Israeli Defense Minister and head of the Labor party, Ehud Barak, at the Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue in Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak attended a ceremony on 9 August, welcoming a new Torah scroll, donated by the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers in the United States, at the Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue in the occupied Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, only 80 meters from the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. The building, located between the Cotton Merchants Gate and the Heavy Chain Gate, was initially constructed in the early 20th century, later abandoned, and eventually purchased and renovated through funds from American multi-millionaire Irving Moskowitz. The synagogue was opened 12 October 2008, amid the presence of Jewish religious and right-wing political figures. Though the then Jerusalem Mayor, Uri Lupolianksi, denied that the opening was 

VIDEO - Who profits from Israeli occupation? 
8/10/2009 - Uruknet - TheRealNews - After the Israeli attack on Gaza earlier this year, the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Campaign (BDS Movement) escalated all around the world. Now, activists are targeting AHAVA, an Israeli cosmetics company founded by and based in an Israeli settlement in the Occupied West Bank. The AHAVA company, as many others in Israel that are based in the Palestinian Territories or profit from their occupation are owned by the powerful Israel family - the Livnat family. The Real News investigates how the family's dynasty is invested in the economy of the occupation. Transcript - Who Profits from the Israeli Occupation? TARACHANSKY, LIA, JOURNALIST, THE REAL NEWS: Four years ago, in the summer of 2005, over a hundred Palestinian social justice and human rights organizations joined under the banner of Palestinian Civil Society. 

Al-Haq’s submission of their Alternative Report to the UN Human Rights Committee regarding Israel’s violations and failed implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
8/11/2009 - Al-Haq - The Human Rights Committee (‘the Committee‘), the treaty body which considers the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘the Covenant‘) by States, has repeatedly asserted that Israel’s obligations, which arise from the Covenant, apply to the Palestinian population on both the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Al-Haq notes, however, Israel’s continued disregard for its obligations under the Covenant and has submitted its Alternative Report in response to the Third Periodic Report submitted by Israel to the Committee on 9 August 2009. The vast majority of findings in the Alternative Report are substantiated by Al-Haq’s field information, including in the form of client affidavits which are contained in Annexure (B), and summarised in Annexure (A). The Alternative Report is intended to be of use by the Committee in the formation of its ‘List of Issues‘, and 


Hamas turns its attention to ’virtue’ 
Ben White, Uruknet 8/10/2009
      Forced ’Islamisation’ is raising concerns about government direction, as some point to Gaza’s isolation as the root cause. 
     A number of recent reports from Gaza have given cause for concern about the direction the Hamas government is taking with regard to social freedoms and a religiously driven "virtue" promotion campaign. Specific incidents, coupled with public declarations by high-ranking officials, suggest a trend of increasing, forced "Islamisation".
     One high-profile case was the ruling by Gaza’s chief justice, Abdul-Raouf Halabi, at the end of last month, stipulating that female lawyers would be obliged to wear headscarves in court. Although this will not affect many, it was the principle of the order that disturbed both lawyers and human rights groups in the territory. Seven organisations issued a joint statement expressing their "concern" and the context of "a series of infringements upon public and personal freedoms in the Strip".
     This context includes a young woman accosted by Hamas police on the beach, who then roughed up her male companions. It has also meant the harassment of shopkeepers displaying mannequins and lingerie packets. The background is a "virtue campaign" organised by the religious affairs ministry, which, in the words of the Hamas deputy religious affairs minister, is intended to "keep [people] away from sin".
     While the rare incidents of physical violence are condemned by senior Hamas leaders, there is no doubting the pervasive atmosphere and policy direction. Government ministers from different departments have met to discuss a list of regulations to be implemented. As a piece in al-Akhbar noted two weeks ago, "women and the uses of technology seem to be the focus of the ’yes for virtue’ campaign" whose purpose "according to Yousef Farhat, the general director of the public administration for preaching and guidance in the ministry, is to ’fight the non-ethical occurrences in Gaza’."

Testimonies Of Gaza Women: Memory Chasing Us 
Ayman Quader, The Palestine Telegraph 8/9/2009
      Commentary and Photos
     Gaza, August 9, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - This reminds me of the Palestinian catastrophe 1948 (Nakba 1948) but much more intensive; more cruelty and suffering. It has been 8 months since the 23 days of the Israeli assault over the Palestinian civilian people. Our writings reflect the pain reflected on the faces of the children, men and women The scenes of the massive destruction that resulted from the Israeli attacks hasn’t gone away leaving people in a great ordeal.
     Today while walking past my home, I met a woman called Rawia Hamda sitting on a piece of stone and looking sadly at her practically destroyed house. I took her aside and starting looking at her while she was in deep thought with her sons around her. Then I realized what was circling in her mind. I then decided to get this chance of writing about this women’s suffering during the war as they usually shared these feelings only with their husbands.
     "It is not that we are scared of poverty, but the destruction of our home. Our lives have been turned up side down after the Israeli war that took place in the Gaza Strip" Those were Rawai’s words when I simply asked her WHY????...
     This is the story of Rawia Hamda from Al Nuserat Refugee camp, in the middle of the Gaza Strip, where she lives with her family which includes her jobless husband, six sons and a disabled daughter.
     As a Palestinian living on this narrow piece of land called the Gaza Strip, Rawia has her own experiences about the war as a woman. Rawia and her family dwell in a house that is no longer a home. The ’ceiling’ is the sky. The roof is slowly being replaced with asbesto sheets except for the bathroom that is cover with a concrete roof.
     "During the war there were daily bombings and attacks in our area. We never felt safe anywhere in our home except the bathroom because of the concrete ceiling".

Electronic Intifada
Prison strengthens Palestinian women
11 Aug 2009 - BETHLEHEM, occupied West Bank (IPS) - In her office at the Bethlehem women's counseling center, Khawla al-Azraq recounts her memories from Israeli prison as vividly as if they were yesterday: the routine physical and psychological abuse, the nightly room searches, the hunger strikes and other collective actions in protest against their conditions, and the intense study sessions with her fellow prisoners. 

Cleaning up explosives in Gaza
11 Aug 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has begun removing 600,000 metric tons of rubble and debris left over from Israel's winter invasion of the Gaza Strip. More than six months later, the most deadly threat to civilians emanates from unexploded ordnance in rubble and underground. 

Prosthetics unavailable for Gaza amputees
11 Aug 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - On a Saturday morning in Gaza City, the Artificial Limb and Polio Center (ALPC) is filled with people waiting to see the director, Dr. Hazem al-Shawwa. Following consultation with him and with the specialist in prosthetics and orthotics rehabilitation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), many will begin the long road to treatment. 

Little recourse for Arab girl rejected from Israeli day-care
10 Aug 2009 - An Arab couple whose one-year-old daughter was expelled from an Israeli day-care center on her first day are suing a Jewish mother for damages, accusing her of racist incitement against their child. Jonathan Cook reports. 

In Gaza
early morning
10 Aug 2009 - A power outage (nothing new here) is a good time to contemplate the moon, the clouds, the stars, the sighing sea… if you have no more pressing matters at hand. The days still sear with heat, the nights bring little relief until early morning hours. Many sit outside or rooftop when the power cuts, avoiding the oven heat unique to cement block homes packed tightly together in camps. In the ministry of social affairs a few days ago, I inquired about electric wheelchairs, hoping to connect a disabled 18 year old with a source of independence. But, I was told, there are just 33 functioning electric wheelchairs to be given (...

Palestine Chronicle
Anti-Zionists: The New Heretics
11 Aug 2009 - By Jeff Gates 'Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.'-- George Santayana How quickly we forget. With the Inquisition still fresh in memory, America's Founders embraced democracy as a means to protect liberty from the manipulations of faith. That’s why facts were enshrined at the core of self-governance grounded in the rule of law. The duplicity at the heart of the US-Israeli relationship puts that founding principle at risk. For seven terrifying centuries, heretics were punished under canon law. In 1633, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was condemned for “grave suspicion of heresy” when he showed that the Sun—not the crown—was the center of the universe despite what the King’s subjects—with help from the Church—had been induced to believe. With the merger of church and state in the 4th Century Roman Empire, anyone daring to dispute papal authority—by challenging with facts the One True Faith—was condemned as both a heretic and an enemy of the state. That practice continues in modern times. The New Heretics are those few who challenge America’s faith in its “special relationship” with an extremist enclave granted nation state recognition in 1948 by a Christian-Zionist president, Harry Truman. Critics of this enclave invite condemnation as “anti-Semites,” a modern form of social excommunication. Defenders of the Zionist Faithful were forced to become more vigilant in monitoring this heresy after Israeli troops used US-provided arms and munitions to kill more than 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza, one-third of them reportedly children. That well-timed attack, planned...

South Africa Government Complicit in Israeli Apartheid
11 Aug 2009 - By Sayed Dhansay A few weeks ago I departed from South Africa for the Gaza Strip in order to take up a short-term voluntary post with a humanitarian organization there. As the Rafah border crossing with Egypt is effectively the only passage in and out of the besieged territory, flying to Cairo was my only option in gaining access to Gaza. The Egyptian border authorities controlling the Rafah crossing have varying and often arbitrary requirements that must be fulfilled by anyone wishing to gain access to Gaza, which change regularly and without notice. The latest requirement is that any non-Palestinian wishing to visit Gaza needs to obtain prior written permission from their embassy in Cairo. This is ostensibly to ensure that foreigners have received the relevant travel warnings from their respective embassies and to absolve the Egyptian government of any responsibility for their health or safety once in Gaza. While this appears reasonable, as I learned over the next few days, it is actually designed to prevent the entry of foreigners into the Gaza Strip. At the South African Embassy in Cairo, I quickly realized that my government was conspiring with the Egyptian and Israeli siege of the tiny coastal territory. After repeated requests to various representatives, the embassy refused to provide the necessary permission for me to enter Gaza. Indeed, I was told that the embassy was under "strict orders directly from the South African government not to facilitate the travel of any South African citizen to Gaza via...

Charges Laid against Israeli Officer in South Africa
11 Aug 2009 - By Shafiq Morton - Cape Town When Human Rights and AIDS activist, Zackie Achmat, fingered South African-born Israeli Defence Force legal adviser, Lieutenant Colonel David Benjamin, on Facebook in late July for his role ‘in being an architect of war on Palestinian people’ the national Sunday Times picked up on it and ran with the story. Lieutenant Benjamin, who was capped with a law degree at the University of Cape Town before leaving on aliya for Israel in 1989, had been scheduled to address Limmud – a Jewish cultural organization – about Israeli Defence Force policies on Gaza and the Occupied Territories in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Zackie Achmat, calling on South African Jews who supported ‘democracy, freedom and justice for Palestinians’, had pushed for a withdrawal from the program, one of the most popular on the local Jewish calendar. In the same Sunday Times story, award-winning cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro had expressed his disquiet to the reporter about a person such as Lieutenant Benjamin attending the Limmud conference. The response of Limmud’s organizers was that it believed Lieutenant Colonel David Benjamin would provide a first-hand perspective of IDF policy. They added that the well-known Israeli human rights lawyer, Shlomo Zachary, would be on the same panel – one that would have Judge Dennis Davis (another human rights advocate) as its chair. The South African pro-Israeli blog site, It’s Almost Supernatural, also responded to Achmat’s call, accusing him of sensationalism and being unaware that Lieutenant Benjamin (who served as an...

No Rivaling the Slogan of Peace
10 Aug 2009 - By Ali Jawad Working for 'peace' in the Middle East comes in all sorts of different shapes and forms; some see its birth-pangs in the shadow of raining bombs, others see the cause of peace furthered in crippling sieges and sanctions, and yet others see peace to be impersonated in war criminals. As far as clichéd sleights-of-hand go, there is simply no rivaling the slogan of 'peace'. As a rule of thumb, the region’s many swindlers and part-time soothsayers (also known as politicians) often mean by “peace” a notion so vulgar as to draw disgust at its very mention. Indeed this distinguished tradition was repeated in Binyamin Netanyahu’s “historic” speech at Bar-Ilan University in which he managed to summon the utterance no less than forty-three times. Given this un-celebrated misuse of “peace” over time, history – in the context of the Palestinian struggle – is a province that many would like us to stay clear of. To raise its mention today is to be “an enemy of peace”. Beyond grand-sounding verbal clutter however, the basic frameworks for comprehending the “conflict” and its’ resolution are, in their heart, incredibly simple. For more than six decades, Palestinians have been forced to pass their lives between fear and shame. The choices have always been eminently clear: choose to live in utter fear of the invincible, divinely-sent IDF and thus accept one’s own degradation and ultimate de-humanization, or opt for the fate of “a dead man”. Colonizers invariably use the same methods, and the...

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